I recently saw this video from Haichi Toaru (@haichi_toaru) referenced online as an example of 3rd grade math in Japan. At first glance, the whiteboard looks a little intimidating, with so much kanji and geometry packed on screen at once, but I think Toaru-sensei is pretty great and this is not only appropriate for a 3rd grader, but a fun lesson for an adult learner of Japanese to pick up on some new geometry-related vocabulary.
Maybe it’s because we emphasize math at our house so much and because our 3rd grader happens to be a natural, but this seems totally appropriate for that age.
Let’s break it down. First, some vocabulary
circle (or Japanese Yen)
Now, let’s have a look at the white board in English:
After Toaru-sensei has gone through the lesson, the whiteboard looks something more like this:
After seeing this video online, I’ve been going through Toaru-sensei’s other videos and plan on going through some with my children in the future.
Let’s face it. Things are going to get dropped, intentionally or not. It’s important to know how to describe it using the transitive / intransitive verb pair 落とす / 落ちる (おとす / おちる), meaning to drop. Here are a few examples to illustrate their usage.
As always, note the use of を in the transitive case.
Transitive – 落とす (おとす)
外でぬいぐるみを落とした。 You dropped the stuffed animal outside.
コップを落とさないように気をつけて。Be careful not to drop the cup.
Intransitive – 落ちる (おちる)
葉が落ちた。The leaves fell.
紙が机から落ちました。A paper fell from the desk.
Note that in additional to the common use of 落とす / 落ちる to mean drop or lose, there are other uses you’ll encounter in different domains. For example:
If you spend any time around kids, you’re bound to run into the phrase そっくり which translates to “the spitting image of” or “looks just like.” Japanese friends who know our our older son will be frequently shocked when they see our younger son and react with something like「お兄ちゃんにそっくりだ」noting that our younger son is the spitting image of his older brother.
I’ve also seen this phrase in the アニメ絵本 (anime picture book) of 「魔女うの宅急便」(Kiki’s Delivery Service). In particular, the scene where Kiki’s first customer asks her to deliver a bird cage containing a stuffed animal that happens to look just like her own black cat, Jiji. The word そっくり is used in the following sentence:
This translates to something like “Inside the cage, there was a black cat stuffed animal that looked just like Jiji.”
When it comes to resemblance, you may also encounter the verb 似る which means “to resemble.” For example, to say that someone’s little sister greatly resembles her mother, you could say: